Is there an alternative to the suburbs capable of satisfying contemporary needs and aspirations? Can we attend to our societies and their unexpected transformations through a collaborative drawing upon inherited bourgeois spaces? In a time when public and private spaces have no reality and our hyper-connected societies fight against solitude and isolation, what are we willing to share, and what is there to gain in reconsidering the suburbs as a potential digital commune where co-living and co-working are the basis of a new social structure? Can a group of modest houses inspire an alternative commune, a co-living form that revises and updates the idea of a collective Palace?

The studio aims to construct a new ecology of humans and non-humans, a modality of a New Palace centered around one of the deepest paradoxes of our time… How can we live together?

The studio will work on Roland Barthes’ book "Comment vivre ensemble, Simulations romanesques de quelques espaces quotidiens", a collection of notes of his courses and seminars at the Collège de France, 1976-1977. The studio plans to travel to San Francisco to visit Sea Ranch and view “The Sea Ranch. Architecture, Environment and Idealism,” an exhibition of original drawings and materials at SFMOMA.

In groups of two, students will produce a research booklet dedicated to a systematic documentation of six or seven case study precedents located mainly in the US. Students will then individually design a small group of seven to fourteen houses along with their common equipment and facilities. The design component will entail a minimum of two models and four scale resolution drawings: Territory/ Context/ Architecture/ Matter, with at least one rendering for each scale and plans/ sections/ façades drawings at the four resolution scales plus a brief essay of 500 to 1000 words. Format of the final presentation will be analyzed and defined along the term. Both aspects, team research and individual design, will be considered in the final evaluation with a 1:3 ratio, 1 part for research, 3 for design.  

Although the course is intended for students of the Department of Architecture, Landscape Architecture students are also welcome.

Iñaki Abalos will be in residence on January 24 and 25, February 7, 8, 21, and 22, March 28 and 29, April 11, 12, 25, and 26, and May 3, 6, or 7 for Final Reviews. The instructor will also be available via Skype to account for “off-week” missed time.